Posts Tagged 'legal stuff'

A crime in Perugia

I don’t know how many of you have been following the Amanda Knox trial, but the story has had me captivated for years.  It was hard to believe the story was really happening: a pretty, college-aged American woman studying abroad in the beautiful Italian town of Perugia accused of, and on trial for, killing her Brittish roommate in a bizzare-o, sex-fueled, vampire-influenced game.  Knox hadn’t even been abroad for a few months when she found herself in jail, where she has remained for years.  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but I didn’t expect this result.

I have had a hard time figuring out what the facts are in this case — what’s credible, what’s science, what’s reliable — and I really don’t know what to think.  Sometimes the story is Knox’s DNA was on a bloody knife found in her “boyfriend” Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment.  Sometimes the story is that there is no way that knife could have been used to murder the victim, Meredith Kercher.  Sometimes the story is that there was a sole assailant — Rudy Guede.   Sometimes the story is that Knox and Sollecito told so many inconsistent stories they must be guilty.  It’s really been a confusing mess for me to try to grasp.  I have a friend who is certain that Knox has been railroaded by a crazy, overzealous prosecutor and a wacky Italian justice system.  I have another friend who works for the AP in Rome and says his friend covering the trial can’t even figure out what is going on or what the truth is.  I just don’t know what to believe.  Usually, in my experience, crimes aren’t nearly as complicated as the version the prosecutor presented the jury with in this case.  But usually isn’t always so, I still don’t know.

I guess we’ll see how it plays out on appeal.  I will say that it sounds like Amanda’s Italian is near-perfect due to her extended time in Italy.  I’m sure she would exchange her fluency for freedom, though.



So, Qristyl left us last week with a dress the judges deemed boring and aging.  I agree with the former, but not the latter.  That model already kind of  looked ‘old’ and I really didn’t think the dress added to her age in any way.  Sometimes I think the judges are too in love with short short.   Also, as you know, I don’t mind boring.  Though I realize it’s a competition and being innovative is a huge part of the undertaking.  It’s hard for me to see — until the cameras really zoom in — some of the flaws in sewing the judges point out.  I wish Lifetime (and, previously, Bravo) would do something to give the viewers greater understanding of what the clothes REALLY look like.  For example, I actually thought Logan’s dress was kinda cool until the cameras zoomed in during judging to reveal the lace craptastical.  Eeks! 

And this week Johnny bit it on the probably-dreaded crazy ‘fabric’ project, which required designers to make a piece out of newspaper.  I really love these nutty projects because I think it especially highlights the innovation, creativity and general genius-ness of the designers.  I was so far from disappointed.  I thought the trenchcoat was damn amazing, the feather-y ball gown was stunning, and Althea’s brilliant and meticulate shift was awe-inspiring.  I loved this episode.  And, again, Johnny needed to go.  I don’t even really care about whether he was lying (probably the only time you’ll ever hear me say that), but he bugged because he just really bored me.  I really just didn’t want to hear anything else from his mouth, or see any of the things he produced. 

Moving on…I’ve developed an annoying habit of waking up between the hours of 3 a.m to 5 a.m. to watch ‘Without a Trace’ on TNT.  I can’t really articulate why I like this show so much, but I clearly do.  There was a problem with the episode I watched tonight, though.  Well, actually, the episode kinda grated on me from the beginning — it seemed forced.  But the articulable super bug was when Agent Johnson (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) said to Agent Malone (Anthony LaPaglia) that so-and-so had been ‘exonerated’ from a charge of child kidnapping because the police had failed to Miranda-ize him before getting some sort of (presumable inculpatory) statement.  Johnson went on to characterize these events as the defendant being released on a ‘technicality.’  There are so many things wrong with these things that they really — even at 4 a.m. — irked me.  I know that I am some sort of prosecutor, but I don’t think even the most zealous among us would call failing to Miranda-ize someone a ‘technicality.’  Truthfully, I don’t even know what anyone means by a ‘technicality.’  Generally, I think folks mean anything that prevents the defendant from getting the death penalty but also fails to demonstrate conclusively the defendant’s absolute innocence.  And this brings me to part two of the bug-ster with Johnson’s narrative.  Exonerated?  On a Miranda violation?  WHAT?  Exonerated does not mean ‘let go’ or ‘released.’  It means that it has been demonstrated that the person did not commit the crime.  It means that physical evidence concludes that the person could not have done it, it means someone else has confessed that he was the lone gun man, it means that the accused was not in the country at the time of the offense.  It does not mean that the person was released because of a Miranda violation.  And any federal agent with the experience of Johnson would never, ever confuse the term.  And this bugged me so much, I suspect, because I feel that the show is usually well-written and smart.  And this was just dumb.

I want to post about all of the loss that we have — collectively and individually — suffered as of late, but I think I need more time.

Happy Rosh Hashannah, all!


Here we go! 

Now don’t get me wrong here, peeps, because I’m all for courts that weigh in and tell governments that they need to start recognizing rights and not stomping all over them, but I think it lends so much more legitimacy to gay marriage when it comes from the legislature and the governor.  It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re all on board with this, let’s go!”  Instead of, “You must do this because it’s the right thing to do.” 

Wednesday in May

Not exactly a shocking expose, but an interesting article nevertheless.  And one written by Gretchen’s old classmate, Dahlia Lithwick, along with Hanna Rosin, whose book, ‘God’s Harvard,’ I just finished this week. [Note: ‘God’s Harvard’ is a truly interesting piece of journalism about Patrick Henry College in Purceville, VA.  I thought the book could have used an editor with a closer eye, but if you want to read about the young, smart, dedicated religious right and their struggles and devotion (and sometimes their struggles with devotion), this is the book for you.]  Back to the Court.  It seems a foregone conclusion that Obama’s going to appoint a woman, eh?

Alright, Real Housewives NYC. I gotta say, last night was a bit of a disappointment. As much as I was dreading seeing Jill & Bethenny fight, and as sweet as I thought it was that Bethenny instantly rose to the occasion to be the better person, it was short-lived drama and unsatisfying. I hope Jill sincerely apologizes in the next episode, because she was so far out of line.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention this: my aunt, Terry, was recently given one of the best gifts a person could ask for. She was seated next to Robert Redford on a plane from Madison to Chicago (Redford had been in town to speak at an event celebrating the esteemed Progressive’s 100th birthday). Um, awesome? He even gave her his Madison Magazine (for whatever that’s worth), but apparently he hogged the armrest. And a cart came to pick him up at O’Hare, which I think is odd.

Sunshine in the Supreme Court

Kristin sent me this and it’s just what I needed. I love the images. Especially nice to look at on such a beautiful day when it should be illegal to work in a windowless office.

Maira Kalman - May It Please the Court

March 2023

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